Have you ever been in a meeting with a prospect or had a conversation with someone interested in what your business does and they asked to see an example of your work? Most of you are nodding your heads, and your answer was probably, “Of course! I’ll send you an example later today.” Imagine if, instead, you could say, “Yes, of course, take a look at this.” Now you can continue the conversation and keep their interest instead of them revisiting the conversation hours or days later when they’ve forgotten why it was important.
Those examples are your portfolio, and this blog discusses 3 reasons you need one on your website.
First, let’s define what a portfolio is, because it can be different for everybody. Most people’s first thoughts are art related, but portfolios are more than that – they’re samples of work you’ve done, no matter the topic. For lawyers, it could be briefings of cases you’ve won; for software companies, case studies of how you turned a client’s business around; for marketing companies, examples of websites or branding material you’ve created for clients.
Portfolios come in all shapes and sizes; the important thing is that they show others what you’re capable of. So, back to the 3 reasons …
Instant credibility/proof of ability
People browse tons of websites every day for personal and business use, and after a while, the messaging looks the same. How can you stand out from the rest, and prove you are worth their time? Most websites try to do this with testimonials of people talking about how wonderful they are to work with, but not all websites have visual examples of what they did for their clients. If someone is interested in what you do, and they see a portfolio tab in your navigation, they will click it. At the end of their investigation, they’ll either be confident you can help them or move on because they don’t think you’re the right fit.
(You may be saying, “But my work isn’t visual – we’re an accounting firm.” The work you do every day may not be visual, but with a little creativity, you can create pictorials or animated videos that showcase scenarios and results.)
Having instant access to a portfolio on your website is helpful in many ways. The first is when you’re at a networking event talking to people who might be interested in working with you. You probably brought business cards, but did you bring examples of your work? If you have examples on your website, you can easily pull it up on your phone and continue a conversation about previous projects with prospects. Anyone with a smartphone has access to your portfolio!
Another way doesn’t require any work from you. Once the portfolio is live, anyone visiting your website can look at it and become instantly more interested in how you can help them. It’s a great tool for moving someone quickly through the buyer’s journey. It can turn someone who isn’t sure if they are ready to talk to you into someone who understands what you do, is confident in your ability, and is ready to talk about working together.
Builds your brand
Even if someone looked through your portfolio and decided you weren’t the right fit doesn’t mean they don’t know someone you are a good fit for. The portfolio will make you memorable and easy to talk about. Your portfolio can be an asset of your word-of-mouth marketing and can bring you referrals from people you’ve never even worked with. In today’s content overload, it’s all about who can stand out, so do yourself a favor and have examples of your work.
Overall, building a portfolio or offering examples of previous work on your website will help you in more ways than one. If you want to talk more about how to build a portfolio or want to set one up, contact us and let’s talk. If you’d like to see an example of a portfolio (shameless plug), you can see ours here.